Analysis Of A Good Man Is Hard To Find

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Flannery O'Connor's short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” centers around a selfish, hypocritical grandmother as she joins her family on their vacation to Florida. During the entirety of the trip, the grandmother constantly displays her self-centered attitude by secretly bringing her cat along, deceiving her grandchildren, and manipulating her son into visiting an old house she remembers. Even when the grandmother realizes she misremembered the location of the old house, she opts not to inform the rest of her family. Her vanity and selfishness ultimately cause the demise of her entire family. Alternatively, O’Connor introduces another major character in the story. The Misfit, an escaped criminal, and his companions witness the…show more content…
By altering her perception during this moment, the grandmother realizes that she had fooled herself into believing in her false superiority. Recognizing the harsh reality allows her to feel compassion for her family and the Misfit. Despite her enlightened transformation, she still falls victim to the Misfit’s punishing shots.
The Misfit’s motivation for killing the family and for his criminal behavior overall derives from his time in the penitentiary. During his conversation with the grandmother, the Misfit reveals that “‘a head-doctor at the penitentiary said what [he] had done was kill [his] daddy but [he] known that for a lie’” (460); however, he denies the possibility that they threw him in the penitentiary by mistake, claiming that “‘they had the papers on [him]’” (460). The Misfit receives a punishment for a crime he cannot remember committing, which leads him to question whether the “punishment fits the crime.” His worries morph into a belief that he did not deserve the punishment they gave him, and this belief begins to increase the divide between his views on punishment and criminal behavior. This gap continues to widen until the Misfit no longer sees any correlation between crime and punishment. Because of his inability to see the affiliation
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